Primary Phase Curriculum

We believe that all children should have access to a rich, broad and challenging curriculum, which sparks their interests and allows it to flourish as they progress through their school life.

Please see the 'Planning' tab for the sequence and structure of our broad and balanced subject curriculum plans.

The curriculum intent at WHGS Primary Phase is to develop independent, self-motivated children who are excited and enthused learners. During their time here, children will master skills and have a deep knowledge in a breadth of subject areas, ensuring progression and depth as they continue through the Primary Phase and into their secondary education. They will be equipped with self-awareness, tolerance and respect in order to contribute positively to our multi-cultural society. 

Primary Phase Curriculum Intent

At WHGS Primary Phase, we follow a research-driven, evidence-based teaching and learning approach.  Our curriculum is implemented with a growth mindset culture where learning is visible, expectations are high and children take pride in all they do. 

To support children in becoming independent, reflective learners, aware of their learning journey and next steps, they are provided with:

  • Teachers who follow Rosenshine's principles of instruction.
  • A knowledge organiser which outlines the learning required (including vocabulary) and is sent home so parents and carers can support their children at home;
  • Three big questions as a baseline assessment to ensure learning is not repeated and lessons are always purposeful;
  • Formative assessment opportunities, i.e. talk partners and co-operative feedback;
  • Repeated quizzing to increase learners working memory and ensure retention of knowledge;
  • A learning journey through each unit of work that carefully plans for progression and depth of learning, involving children at this planning stage and
  • A curriculum that is designed to allow children to gain knowledge and understanding of their local community. 

WHGS Primary Phase demonstrate impact of our curriculum intent through the acquisition, mastery and retention of knowledge and skills. Our independent learners are well prepared for their next step in to Secondary education.


In WHGS Early Years Foundation Stage, our intent is for children to be independent learners who are happy to come to school. We create opportunities for our children to be explorers, active learners, critical thinkers and risk takers. We understand that play is a fundamental part of this development and developing children's language and communication skills is central to our practice, as is the need to build strong social and emotional skills. We plan activities around the children’s interests and enhance our classroom provision with resources that will ignite and support their enquiring minds. Children are expected to tidy up after themselves; this promotes care and respect for their environment and gives them a sense of responsibility. We consider ourselves partners in your child’s learning and welcome observations and information about your child from home. Please look out for information regarding our workshops in school which can be booked via the Primary office.

We implement the curriculum guidance from the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (Development Matters). Within the EYFS curriculum, there are seven areas of learning and development . The curriculum consists of three prime areas which are essential in nurturing a child’s natural development and four specific areas which provide opportunities for the children to broaden their knowledge and skills. Our practice is shaped by four overarching principles set out in the Framework:

  • A unique child 
  • Positive relationships 
  • Enabling environments 
  • Learning and development 


We also understand that children learn in different ways and we are guided by the three Characteristics of Effective Learning documented in the Framework. 


Characteristics of Effective Learning 

Playing and Exploring – Engagement 

  • Finding out and exploring 
  • Playing with what they know 
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’ 


Active Learning – Motivation 


  • Being involved and concentrating 
  • Keeping trying 
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do 


Creating and Thinking Critically – Thinking 


  • Having their own ideas 
  • Making links 
  • Choosing ways to do things 


In order to develop independence, confidence and resilience in our children, a rich and challenging learning environment is provided to inspire all learners to reach their potential. We do this through:


  • Models of excellence   
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Levelled continuous provision
  • Responding to children's interest
  • Having a growth mindset culture
  • Using a Talk for Writing approach
  • Observations and assessments
  • Interventions
  • Local trips and visits
  • Involving parents 

When our children leave the Early Years Foundation Stage, the impact will be seen through the secure and skilful learners who are ready and equipped for the next stage of their education. They will have developed strong foundations to continue to build social, emotional and communication skills ready to tackle the future challenges ahead. At the end of the Reception Year, this will be reported through the EYFS Profile, using Early Learning Goals. This is an assessment carried out by the Reception class teacher and is based on what they and other staff caring for the children, have observed over a period of time.

View the British Association for Early Childhood Education’s ‘Development Matters’ Document

The Speech Bubble Gold Award for Successfully Creating a Communication Friendly Environment

At William Hulme's Grammar School we have a single subject curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6; cross-curricular links are made at every opportunity. 

We follow a formative assessment approach to teaching and learning and our curriculum delivery is designed with this in mind. Please click on the Planning tab above to find out more information about what is taught in each year group and subject or click on the Policies tab above to find out more about how we deliver our curriculum. 

The core subject of English is taught using a Talk 4 Writing philosophy and Maths is taught using the White Rose Hub.  Children are tested in these areas half-termly against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Moderation meetings are then held with other United Learning Primary Schools. Teachers then use all available information to give children an Emerging/Expected/Exceeding grade at the end of each term; this contributes towards a predicted judgement of whether a child is on target to achieve Age Related Expectations at the end of the year.

Our wider curriculum covers other subjects from the National Curriculum and we endeavour to start each unit of work with a WOW experience, designed to grab the children's attention and engage parents. Educational visits and trips, relevant to the learning experience, are planned throughout the year.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education is very important in the Primary Phase.  Our entire curriculum is underpinned by the William Hulme's Way Respect Charter and PSHCE is incorporated into all lessons and throughout the school day.

If you would like to discuss the Primary Phase curriculum any further, please contact Mrs Heaton (Headteacher) or Mr Worrall (Deputy Headteacher).  Look out for our half termly newsletters updating you on what your child is currently learning about in school.

Additionally, the National Curriculum document is available here, more information about White Rose Maths here and Talk 4 Writing here.


At William Hulme's Grammar School, we follow the Letters and Sounds Programme from Early Years Foundation Stage through KS1 and into KS2 if appropriate. The programme focuses on teaching sounds and the letters that represent them. This skill is essential for children to read and spell words accurately. All children from Reception to Year 2 have dedicated daily phonics lessons. The Letter and Sounds programme is structured into six phases: 

  • Phase One - is a play based approach to teaching sounds, listening skills and extending vocabulary. This is taught in Nursery and then reinforced throughout Foundation Stage and KS1. 
  • Phases Two to Five - have clear focus on teaching letters and sounds so that by the end of KS1 children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling. 
  • The compulsory ‘Phonic Screening’ Test - is for all children in Year 1 and any children who have previously missed the test or need to repeat it. The test is normally carried out at the start of June and you will be informed of the result in the end of year report. 

We also follow the scheme Jolly Phonics and we have the Oxford Reading Tree and Storyworlds as our reading scheme.

All parents receive a booklet entitled Helping Your Child to Read.

Additionally, the Letters & Sounds Scheme of Work is available here.

Life at WHGS extends beyond what we learn in the classroom and we firmly believe in the importance of a well-rounded education, where children have access to activities beyond the taught curriculum to enrich their experience. This Education with Character offers an education that is broader and richer than those basics, that challenges pupils to try out new and difficult things and that provides opportunities for our children to lead, work in teams and develop social awareness. This will enable our children to develop the character attributes that will equip them for success in later life.

Our co-curricular activities run at lunchtimes and after school to ensure access for all. Please see below for more details.

Lunchtime Clubs

Our staff deliver a range of lunchtime clubs that children can sign up to.  Please see a list of the latest clubs below.

Monday - Choir / Colour & Chill
Tuesday - Lego / Dance
Wednesday - History / Bollywood Dance
Thursday - Book Club
Friday - Yoga

After School Club - Sports

Autumn Term 1 Activities (From 3.05pm - 4.15pm)


Year 1 and Year 2 Foodball (Mr Garside)
Child Led Club - Invitation Only (Mr Cragg)


Year 3 and Year 4 Football (Mr Garside)
Child Led Club - Invitation Only (Mr Cragg)


Year 5 and Year 6 Basketball (Mr Garside)


Year 3 and Year 4 Basketball (Mr Garside)
Year 1 and Year 2 Dance Fitness (Mr Cragg)


Year 5 and Year 6 Football (Mr Garside)
Child Led Club - Invitation Only (Mr Cragg)

House Teams

The House system is one of the most traditional aspects of William Hulme's Grammar School. Every new pupil is allocated to a House on their arrival at school. Siblings are always in the same House, even though they may be years apart in age group. Pupils value their membership of a House and are proud to compete for their House, both on the sports field and in the academic world. Look out for the latest House winners on our display board in the hall.

Additional Support

Here at William Hulme's, we strive to ensure that all children achieve their potential.  From time to time, children may need additional support in order to learn all that is required of the National Curriculum and to meet our deepening curriculum demands.  We have a comprehensive package of interventions to ensure we meet every child's needs.  This is delivered in small group work with the support of a teacher or a teaching assistant within the classroom or within our break out areas. 

View our Interventions Marketplace Presentation

If your child is on the Special Education Needs Register they may also access the provision above.  Individual needs are assessed by class teachers, the Headteacher of the Primary Phase and the SEND Department, so that the needs of all children can be met. Pupils will receive an Individual Education Plan which is reviewed twice a year. Specific activities to help the pupil to improve will be carried out and the results will be shared with parents at Parent Consultation Evenings. 

Pupils who show particular aptitude in certain areas will be placed on the Most Able Register and they will be planned for accordingly.

After School Provision (BOSH)

BOSH Ltd runs our before and after school provision.  Please download the BOSH Starter Pack for further information.  Should you wish to register for BOSH, please print and complete the Registration Form on page 7 of the Starter Pack and return this to either the Primary Phase office or to BOSH via e-mail.  BOSH Starter Packs are also available from the Primary Phase office.

Breakfast club starts at 7.45am and the after school club is available until 6pm. 

 You can contact BOSH as follows:

We want the Best from Everyone!

Our hidden curriculum refers to everything children learn outside of the formal teaching curriculum. It refers to our core values of:

  • Ambition – to achieve the best for ourselves and others;
  • Confidence – to have the courage of our convictions and to take risks in the right cause;
  • Creativity – to imagine possibilities and make them real;
  • Respect – for ourselves and others in all that we do;
  • Enthusiasm – to seek opportunity, find what is good and pursue talents and interests;
  • Determination – to overcome obstacles and reach success.

Growth Mindset

At WHGS, we know that children who have a positive attitude towards their learning, will perform well in primary school. Children with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed – it isn’t fixed; they thrive in the face of challenge, embrace and celebrate mistakes and they see effort as a key part of their learning journey. Having a growth mindset means being open to and acting on feedback, being a reflective learner and ensuring they are in the learning zone, constantly challenging themselves. Instilling our children with a growth mindset is a priority for the school and the children are enthusiastic about this ethos. We encourage children to take creative risks and to try new strategies with the intention of developing their resilience in the face of a mistake. Mistakes play a vital part in the learning process: When a new mistake is made, this is a crucial learning point, an opportunity for a misconception to be addressed.  We praise children for identifying their mistakes and recognising how they have learnt from them. The Best in Everyone – this is what we embed in our pupils and in order to reach their full potential, we want our them to understand how they can be the best learner that they can be. Since introducing the concept earlier this year, pupils have participated in a range of Growth Mindset lessons, assemblies and truly embraced the language. We, as a school, look forward to continuing on our growth mindset journey.

View the Parents' Growth Mindset Workshop Powerpoint 

WHGS Learning Powers:

In order to support the development of a growth mindset and metacognitive skills, we use eight key learning powers: 

  • Don’t Give Up (Deema Duck)
  • Enjoy Learning (Edward Elephant)
  • Keep Improving (Ishan Insect)
  • Use Your Imagination (Isabel Iguana)
  • Be Cooperative (Tim and Tina Tortoises)
  • Concentrate (Kuba Caterpillar)
  • Be Curious (Colin Camel)
  • Have a Go (Hamed Hedgehog)
Deema the Duck Edward the Elephantt Ishan the Insect Isabel the Iguana
Tim and Tina the Tortoises  Kuba the Caterpillar  Colin the Camel  Hamed the Hedgehog 

We aim to provide the children with the tools to take ownership over their learning: knowing how to learn and learning about how to think. By using these learning powers, children develop their awareness of what makes a good learner. Each week, in our Friday Learning Power assembly, we celebrate the learner of the week and share how they have successfully demonstrated a learning power!

How you can help at home:

Promote the Growth Mindset language in and around the home.

  • Encourage your child to try something new
  • Praise your child for effort rather than intelligence
  • Discuss how the brain works and how it becomes stronger, like a muscle
  • Promote the Growth Mindset language in and around the home

Growth Mindset

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